It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Daily Prayer, February 26, 2012, the first Sunday of Lent

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me.

Invitatory Psalm 130
I cry out to you from the depths, LORD — 2 my Lord, listen to my voice! Let your ears pay close attention to my request for mercy! 3 If you kept track of sins, LORD — my Lord, who would stand a chance? 4 But forgiveness is with you— that’s why you are honored. 5 I hope, LORD . My whole beingr hopes, and I wait for God’s promise. 6 My whole being waits for my Lord— more than the night watch waits for morning; yes, more than the night watch waits for morning! 7 Israel, wait for the LORD ! Because faithful love is with the LORD ; because great redemption is with our God! 8 He is the one who will redeem Israel from all its sin.

[Common English Bible]
Psalm 147
Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
   for he is gracious,
   and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted,
   and binds up their wounds.

He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.

The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
he casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre.

He covers the heavens with clouds,
   prepares rain for the earth,
   makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the animals their food,
   and to the young ravens when they cry.

His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
   nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;
but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
   in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!
For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
he blesses your children within you.
He grants peace within your borders;
he fills you with the finest of wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;
he scatters frost like ashes.
He hurls down hail like crumbs—
   who can stand before his cold?
He sends out his word, and melts them;
he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and ordinances to Israel.
He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
   they do not know his ordinances. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 148
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host!
Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
   for he commanded and they were created.
He established them forever and ever;
he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
  you sea monsters and all deeps,
  fire and hail, snow and frost,
  stormy wind fulfilling his command!
  Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!
  Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds!
  Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!
  Young men and women alike, old and young together!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
   for his name alone is exalted;
   his glory is above earth and heaven.
He has raised up a horn for his people,
   praise for all his faithful,
    for the people of Israel who are close to him.

Praise the Lord!

Psalm 149
Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
   his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in its Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
Let them praise his name with dancing,
   making melody to him with tambourine and lyre.

For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with victory.

Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy on their couches.
Let the high praises of God be in their throats
    and two-edged swords in their hands,
    to execute vengeance on the nations
       and punishment on the peoples,
    to bind their kings with fetters
        and their nobles with chains of iron,
    to execute on them the judgment decreed.

This is glory for all his faithful ones.
Praise the Lord!

Daily Lectionary Reading, 1 Peter 3:18-22
18 Christ himself suffered on account of sins, once for all, the righteous one on behalf of the unrighteous. He did this in order to bring you into the presence of God. Christ was put to death as a human, but made alive by the Spirit. 19 And it was by the Spirit that he went to preach to the spirits in prison. 20 In the past, these spirits were disobedient—when God patiently waited during the time of Noah. Noah built an ark in which a few (that is, eight) lives were rescued through water. 21 Baptism is like that. It saves you now—not because it removes dirt from your body but because it is the mark of a good conscience toward God. Your salvation comes through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is at God’s right side. Now that he has gone into heaven, he rules over all angels, authorities, and powers. [Common English Bible]

Prayer for Today: Help us in this Lenten period to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made for us. We remember how patient you have been. We remember how those who have gone before us have worked to protect others. And we remember our baptism--that your Spirit has touched us, has recognized us, has claimed us. Amen.

Psalms 144
Bless the LORD , my rock,
who taught my hands how to fight,
who taught my fingers how to do battle!
2 God is my loyal one, my fortress,
my place of safety, my rescuer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
and the one who subdues
people before me.
3 What are human beings, LORD ,
that you know them at all?
What are human beings
that you even consider them?
4 Humans are like a puff of air;
their days go by like a shadow.
5 LORD , part your skies and come down!
Touch the mountains so they smoke!
6 Flash lightning and scatter the enemy!
Shoot your arrows and defeat them!
7 Stretch out your hand from above!
Rescue me and deliver me
from deep water,
from the power of strangers,
8 whose mouths speak lies,
and whose strong hand is
a strong hand of deception!
9 I will sing a new song to you, God.
I will sing praises to you
on a ten-stringed harp,
10 to you—the one
who gives saving help to rulers,
and who rescues his servant David from the evil sword.
11 Rescue me and deliver me
from the power of strangers,
whose mouths speak lies,
and whose strong hand
is a strong hand of deception,
12 so thatv our sons can grow up fully,
in their youth, like plants;
so that our daughters can be like pillars carved to decorate a palace;
13 so that our barns can be full,
providing all kinds of food;
so that our flocks can be
in the thousands—
even tens of thousands—in our fields;
14 so that our cattle can be loaded
with calves;
so that there won’t be any breach
in the walls,
no exile, no outcries in our streets!
15 The people who have it like this
are truly happy!
The people whose God is the LORD
are truly happy!
[Common English Bible]

Psalm 145
I will lift you up high, my God, the true king.
I will bless your name forever and always.
I will bless you every day.
I will praise your name forever and always.
The LORD is great and so worthy of praise!
God’s greatness can’t be grasped.
One generation will praise your works to the next one,
   proclaiming your mighty acts.
They will talk all about the glorious splendor of your majesty;
I will contemplate your wondrous works.
They will speak of the power of your awesome deeds;
I will declare your great accomplishments.
They will rave in celebration of your abundant goodness;
they will shout joyfully about your righteousness:
“The LORD is merciful and compassionate,
   very patient, and full of faithful love.
The LORD is good to everyone and everything;
God’s compassion extends to all his handiwork!”
All that you have made gives thanks to you, LORD;
all your faithful ones bless you!
They speak of the glory of your kingdom;
they talk all about your power,
   to inform all human beings  about God’s power
   and the majestic glory of God’s kingdom.
Your kingdom is a kingship that lasts forever;
your rule endures for all generations.
The LORD is trustworthy in all that he says,
   faithful in all that he does.
The LORD supports all who fall down,
   straightens up all who are bent low.
All eyes look to you, hoping,
    and you give them their food right on time,
opening your hand and satisfying the desire of every living thing.
The LORD is righteous in all his ways, faithful in all his deeds.
The LORD is close to everyone who calls out to him,
   to all who call out to him sincerely.
God shows favor to those who honor him,
   listening to their cries for help and saving them.
The LORD protects all who love him,
but he destroys every wicked person.
My mouth will proclaim the LORD’s praise,
and every living thing will bless God’s holy name forever and always.
[Common  English Bible]

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